Poetry, 116 pages
To A New Era
Joanna Fuhrman’s new book is a fearless blend of the real and the surreal, the political and the personal, all with the marks of her own kind of accelerated dizzying style that nevertheless brings you along with it. Her work has been published in many journals, in including the Pushcart Prize Anthology (2011). She is the author of five previous full-length poetry collections, four of which have been published by Hanging Loose: Freud in Brooklyn, Ugh Ugh Ocean, Moraine, and The Year of Yellow Butterflies. Her books have been widely reviewed and praised; To a New Era is no exception.
“Joanna Fuhrman is the herald of a new era. An era where we eat more grandma slices but drink fewer papaya drinks. An era where the past wears its dirty underwear to every gala. An era where we all bake cakes shaped like the world we want to become. I welcome that world, that new era, because it will include these poems as proof that the world we wanted was not only possible but already here, and wonderful.” —Sharon Mesmer
“Joanna Fuhrman’s got her own funky brand of blended surrealism and fabulism going on in To a New Era. The poems in this tour de force offer funicular modes of language transport, making it a dizzying, dazzling joy to be a commuter on this collection (see ‘Adjunct Commuter’ poems). Sentience abounds; metamorphoses are in the poetry’s plasma. Formal poems emit a flirty, contemporary spirit of rebellion. Political poems are pissed, hilarious, iconoclastic, in debate with language’s complicated connotations, histories, and alternate histories. In To a New Era, Fuhrman toasts to the cyclones that blow through our days and our nights. This collection is one storm of words that will bowl you over!” —Martine Bellen
Poetry, 62 pages
I Used To Be Korean
Brooklyn poet, preschool teacher, and urban gardener, her work has been widely published in various online and print publications, including Painted Bride Quarterly, Bombay Gin, and Hanging Loose. Hanging Loose Press also published Choi’s earlier poetry collection, One Daughter Is Worth Ten Sons.
“These sharp-tongued poems, often levitating on their own buoyant wit, are full of Jiwon Choi’s delightful ‘wickedness and dirty humor.’ Her work is propelled by New York immigrant energy, which of course makes it quintessentially American.”—Terence Winch
“ ‘Buttering,’ bedazzling’ ‘shellacking,’ ‘kissing’ – in I Used to Be Korean, Jiwon Choi’s “present participles wrestle with the past tense, winning every match through sheer candor and vitality. The poet’s ‘rosebud power’ and honesty are dynamic, as is her grasp of history, family, identity, and eros. Out of keen attention, Choi makes poetry of butchery and blame and pockets empty but for lint. There’s something Sapphic—both scorching and tender—in a poem like ‘I Ate Your Heart Out,’ and something of Robert Frank’s vision in Choi’s fresh takes on, say, Texas (i.e., ‘America’). ‘Korea is far away’ from the Oyster Bar in Grand Central and many of the other sites mentioned in these poems, yet it (the mother) is ever present, whatever the poet is or ‘used to be.’ Choi is learned but never academic (she’s too nimble and street-smart to be academic), and I love her way of seeing and thinking. I Used to Be Korean (a riddle of a title) is a beautiful book.” —Linda Norton
Jam Session and other Poems
“Fusion” and “Synergy” are overused terms, but they aptly describe the relationship between music and poetry in Dick Lourie’s new book: these poems literally depend on the music for their existence; and the poems in turn have deepened the poet’s relationship with the music as he takes to the stage and performs it. The book reflects his professional work over a half-century as both poet and musician.